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Moth: One of the Observer's 'Ten Debut Novelists' of 2021

Melody Razak

1 Reviews

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

The heart-rending story of a Brahmin family living in 1940s Delhi, by one of the Observer's 'Ten Debut Novelists' of 2021.

'I was utterly transported by Moth. Melody Razak takes us right to the heart and the heat of Partition-era Delhi - a fracturing city, a fracturing nation and a family attempting to hold themselves together when everything threatens to tear them apart. A stunning, powerful work by a brave new voice in British fiction'
Anna Hope, author of Expectation

'Moth is a powerful and moving story of a liberal, Brahmin family caught up in the violence and social unrest of post-partition India. It is written with absolute fidelity to the small rituals of daily life, the allegiances and jealousies within families, and the huge and overwhelming forces of history. The writer's skill and sympathy are immense'
Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures

DELHI, 1946.
Ma and Bappu are liberal intellectuals teaching at Delhi University.
Their fourteen year-old daughter, precocious, headstrong Alma, is soon to be married to a fair-haired boy who is training to be a doctor: Alma is mostly interested in the wedding shoes and in spinning wild stories about evil spirits for her beloved younger sister Roop, a wild child obsessed with death.
Ma and Bappu are uneasy about their clever daughter marrying so young, but political unrest is brewing and times are bad for girls in India.
When Partition happens, this wonderful family - whom we have come to love and adore - is torn apart. But the resilience of the human spirit is an extraordinary thing...

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Praise for Moth: One of the Observer's 'Ten Debut Novelists' of 2021

  • Powerful and heartbreaking... The book's primary and unflinching focus is the female members of the household: Ma, her daughters Alma and Roop, among others, all drawn with such skill and love that they remain with you long after the final sentence. - OBSERVER (Ten Debut Novelists of 2021)

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Melody Razak

Melody Razak is a writer from London, with an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck. She has had short stories published in the Mechanics Institute Review, the Bath Short Story Anthology and the Brick Lane Short Story Prize. Previous to writing, she owned a cake shop in Brighton for eight years and more recently worked in the kitchens of Honey&Co in London as a pastry chef. MOTH is her debut novel.

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